Join text without using the Concatenate function in Excel 2013

 Mar 24, 2015

Excel 2013 has a new feature called Flash Fill. This feature will allow you to join text strings from different cells very quickly without using the Concatenate function.

For example, you may have a workbook where in one column there is a list of people’s first name, and their last name in the next column. In the next column, you want to combine both columns to get the people’s full name. You would have had to use either Concatenate function or the ampersand (&) symbol to obtain the full name.

In Excel 2013, you can type the first full name next to the last name and when you type the first few letters of the next full name, Excel will guess that you want the same pattern, as in the cell above, and will fill down the rest of the full names. This option will save you time and keep consistency in formats.


Press Enter to accept the entries. See the result below.


If you type the full name with all lower case, Excel will fill down all the full names in lower case, as you can see here:


As per the above example, the first N=name and the last name do not have to be next to the full name column.

You can also fill the email addresses of those people with these steps:

  1. Select the cell below Email address label.
  2. Type the first email address.
  3. Press the Enter key to move to the next cell down.
  4. Start to type the second email address and Excel will fill down or flash fill the other email addresses in the same format as the first.

Excel 2013 can flash fill anything. See another example below.


To find out more about the great new features in Excel 2013, have a look at New Horizons' Excel 2013 Training Courses.

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About the Author:

Magdalena Todor  

With over 20 years experience as a facilitator and university lecturer, Magda is one of our most senior and experienced trainers. With previous practical on the job experience as a project manager she embodies a brilliant balance of training experience and business knowledge. With every event she delivers, Magda takes a wholehearted approach to ensure every course is impactful, relevant and a genuinely positive learning experience for all.

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